Despite Dragon Ball Super significantly lowering his importance, Gohan still stands out as one of the franchise’s most beloved characters. That’s likely in large part due to his increased role in the anime adaptation, where Toei greatly emphasized his importance when transitioning from Dragon Ball to Dragon Ball Z.
Even in the manga, Gohan is an incredibly important character, rivaling Goku for page time in just about every arc they appear in together. Of all the members of the cast, Gohan’s the one who changes and matures the most. He never has the same appearance or gi for long, and the constant nature of his character arc can often make it seem like Goku’s clothes are changing alongside him.
10 The China & Chaozu Connection
Interestingly, Chaozu actually wore a very similar outfit in his introduction. Not just that, the anime’s film continuity runs with this premise for Chaozu’s character in Mystical Adventure. In truth, Chaozu’s design is based on jiangshi, Chinese hopping vampires. Aside from a few subtle differences, Gohan is introduced in one of Chaozu’s outfits.
9 Branded By The Demon Clan
The orange demon gi calls back to Goku participating in the 21st Tenkaichi Budokai all the way at the start of the series. Gohan’s experience in the gi is very different from Goku’s, however. He isn’t training to enjoy combat, he’s training to survive. The nature of his training is much harsher than Goku’s ever was, so it makes sense Gohan would carry a harsher kanji on his back.
8 Gohan’s Green Demon Gi
That’s the thing about color in a black and white manga— it isn’t always consistent. For one chapter, Gohan’s demon gi is green. The anime uses the same shade of purple as Piccolo’s gi and Gohan has a purple gi for the Namek arc in the manga, but for whatever reason, Gohan sports a green gi during the fight with Vegeta in the manga.
7 Gohan Makes His Own Demon Gi For Namek
It’s also wordier than Dragon Ball usually is, making it a denser read. As a result, it can be difficult to catch every little detail during this portion of the series. Right before blasting off to Namek, however, Gohan mentions in passing that he actually made his own version of the demon gi— which would make sense as Piccolo wouldn’t be alive to conjure him a new one.
6 Gohan Changes His Main Gi Every Arc (In Z)
For the Saiyan arc, his main outfit ends up being his demon gi. Gohan brings the demon gi to Namek, but his main outfit ends up being Freeza Force armor. The Cell Games sees Gohan wearing the demon gi one more time, but he’s upgraded to a cape. By the end of the Buu arc, Gohan is sporting the turtle school uniform after spending most of the arc wearing his Saiyaman tunic.
5 Gohan Wears Goku’s Wristbands
It’s easier to spot in the manga where Piccolo and Gohan have red belts for the Cell Games, but Gohan’s blue wristbands are clearly modeled after Goku. As Piccolo doesn’t wear wristbands (that’s his skin,) it only makes sense that Gohan would default to his father’s. It’s a nice way of Gohan honoring both of his masters.
4 Gohan Only Wears His Own Kanji In The Future
Except in the future, that is. In Trunks’ ruined timeline, Gohan wears “han” with pride. It’s interesting to note that he doesn’t wear “go” despite trying to honor his father. Rather, Gohan takes on the namesake of his grandfather. As he’s the Earth’s last warrior for quite a while in this timeline, it makes sense Gohan would want to represent himself.
3 Gohan Has The Most Gis In Dragon Ball
Not including his Chinese prince outfit, Gohan has two in the Saiyan arc; two in the Namek arc; four in the Cell arc; and, not including his school clothes and leisurewear, Gohan has four in the Buu arc. Between GT and Super, Gohan has even more!
2 Gohan Is The Only Lead Without A Signature Gi
His only consistent outfit these days is his formal wear which… does leave a lot to be desired. It’s not a bad look, but it’s one of Gohan’s worst (at least in Super’s plasticy art style.) Super frequently teases the idea that Gohan will get back in action, but even the Moro arc has him fighting without a gi.
1 Gohan’s Relationship With The Turtle Gi
In the case of the Buu arc, it’s clear that Gohan donning the gi is meant to be Toriyama’s way to fully transitioning Gohan into the role of the hero… only to transition him out immediately. It’s a good moment in the vacuum, but Gohan wearing the turtle gi ends up having no meaningful impact in retrospect.
NEXT: 5 Things Dragon Ball Super Does Better Than DBZ (& Vice Versa)